Work with Professor Leads to Career as Research Analyst

A decade ago, if you were to ask Christine Bennett Flon, ‘11, about what she would be doing now, her answer would not have been what she is doing now, but she’s happy with her choice, prompted by research collaboration with Scranton faculty.  

Flon serves as a research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Upon enrolling at the University, she was unsure about a career path. She started as an undeclared major and took time to figure out what she enjoyed, before settling on a psychology major.

“It was a great experience because I was able to try a bunch of different stuff, and I knew that I liked psychology,” Flon said. “Starting out as an undeclared major gave me the ability to explore different areas of study.” 

Drawn to Social Psychology

Flon really enjoyed a psychology class that she took early on, and wasn't’t familiar with the numerous specialties within the field. As she took additional classes, she grew particularly fond of social psychology. She enjoyed its focus on human behavior, thought, and emotion. That class allowed Flon to get involved with Professor Jessica Nolan, Ph.D.

Research Proves Fruitful

Research Proves Fruitful
In the summer of 2010, between her junior and senior year, Flon was awarded a Presidential Research Fellowship to work with Dr. Nolan. They studied "Symbolic Racism and Self-Verification Theory: Who is Choosing to Take the Race IAT?"

The Presidential Fellowship proved to be Flon’s first adventure in finding participants to take a survey she designed.  It proved to be a challenging task on a college campus during summer.

“It was the first time that I didn't’t have a sign-up sheet of a bunch of people. I actually had a table set up in the DeNaples Center to get people to sign up,” Flon recalled. “Doing research with Dr. Nolan felt like she was guiding me along and that I was in control of the process. I really enjoyed the experience.”

Grateful for Faculty Mentors

The New Jersey native graduated from Scranton in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She immediately turned her attention to earning a master’s in social psychology. Wanting to attend graduate school in a warm climate, she wound up attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

“During the application process, I had three letters of recommendation from faculty who knew me as a human being,” Flon said. “They were always interested in me and my life. The Psychology Department felt like a little family that made sure everyone stayed on the right path.”

Flon spent two years in Hawaii before returning to New Jersey in 2013. She worked full-time for Reis, a company that specializes in real estate market data, while finishing her graduate studies. She received her master’s degree in 2015.

Skills Learned at Scranton

In her current role as a Research Analyst at Ramapo, Flon manages surveys throughout the academic year with students, alumni and faculty, along with some national surveys. She works with multiple departments to advertise these surveys, and the results often end up in the hands of the college administration.

Flon fondly recalled her time at Scranton and noted how important the foundation she gained at the University is to her job.

“Scranton gave me my start in research, and analysis of the results requires knowledge in specific software. It provided me with the foundation of basic skills that are required to do my job, and helped get me interested in caring about what other people are writing and saying on their surveys,” Flon said.
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